Phuket gets new Australian Consul-General

Photo courtesy of Phuket News

Following an announcement made by Penny Wong, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kirsten Fletcher was named the new Australian Consul-General for Phuket and its nearby provinces. Fletcher’s appointment was confirmed yesterday.

Fletcher, known for her active involvement in sustainability and tourism, was recently seen at an event in Phuket last month, where locals shared ideas on reducing plastic waste. Angela Macdonald, the Australian Ambassador to Thailand, was also in attendance at the event.

Wong emphasised the robust relationship between Australia and Thailand, highlighting their partnership’s focus on defence, law enforcement, education, and the green economy.

“Our longstanding relationship is strengthened by our shared interests in trade, investment, and the mutual connections between our people.”

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Australia recognises Thailand as its 11th largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at approximately US$30.8 billion (approximately 740 billion baht) in the financial year 2022 to 2023. Thailand also contributes significantly to Australia’s international student population, with about 21,000 Thai students currently studying in Australia. This makes Thailand Australia’s seventh largest source of international students.

The Consulate-General in Phuket was officially inaugurated in August 2017. This was a significant reflection of the strength of the bilateral relationship and the increasing number of Australian tourists and residents in Phuket. Wong highlighted this point during her announcement.

Fletcher, a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. She most recently served in the Consular Emergency Centre and has previously held positions overseas in Bangkok, reported Phuket News.

Minister Wong expressed her gratitude to the former Consul-General, Matt Barclay, for his contributions to consular services and his efforts to advance Australia’s interests in Phuket since 2019.

In related news, in a bid to foster seamless travel and boost business ties, Thailand and Australia are contemplating a mutual visa exemption scheme. The proposition was tabled during a high-profile meeting between Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and David Hurley, the Governor-General of Australia, at Government House on February 14.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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